WASHINGTON (Oct. 6)
American books and magazines, sent to Israel under the International Media Guaranty Program, have caused Communist publications to be forced out of the Israel market, it was reported here today by Theodore C. Streibert, director of the new U.S. Information Agency.
“In Israel, previous to the launching of the Media Guaranty Program in September, 1952, virtually no U.S. books or periodicals were available in the bookstores or on newsstands, reading material of Russian origin was on sale throughout the country,” the report said. It noted that “during the past 12 months American publishers have contracted with Israel firms for books and periodicals totalling over $3,000,000. Recent reports from Israel state that Communist publications have been forced out of the market since many book shops in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem are as well stocked with American books as the average bookstore in America.
“Apart from the pocket editions which have been very popular in Israel, ” the report said, “the emphasis has been on serious works – philosophy, politics, economics, and classical literature as well as medicine, law and engineering. There is also a large demand for American books for children.”
The Media Guaranty Program helps to overcome the shortage of dollar exchange in Israel by making it possible for American publishers to be paid U.S. dollars for the blocked local currencies, received from sales abroad. It was noted that while the export of literature under the program to six European countries, Formosa, and Israel totalled around $6,000,000 in the last 12 months, Israel alone contracted for over $3,000,000.
The program was authorized under the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948 originally administered by th ECA and later Mutual Security Agency. It was transferred to the Department of State by executive order on July 1, 1952, and to the new U.S. Information Agency on August 1, 1953.